Construction of a mosque near the grave of late prime minister Menachem Begin and Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook has been under way since October despite court orders to stop. Attendees at the recent President's Conference in Jerusalem were shown pictures of the construction.
On Thursday, the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem (National Unity-NRP), David Hadari, arrived at the illegal building site in person to serve a court order to cease and desist, accompanied by Council Member Elisha Peleg.
The action, undertaken to publicize the lax enforcement of the law against massive Arab illegal construction in East Jerusalem, was an object lesson that proved just how unequal enforcement of the law is against those building without permits in the city.
According to Hadari, “The last straw was this massive illegal construction on the extension of the Mount of Olives, with a mosque located only a few meters from the gravesites of Eliezer ben Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language, Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, head of Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva and of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.”
Hadari arrived holding the administrative cease and desist order which he handed to the construction workers.
The workers ignored the order. Councilmen who arrived at the mosque said that the police and the government are responsible for not enforcing the order, and that the police are afraid to enforce the law in eastern Jerusalem, particularly against the contruction of a mosque.
Elisha Peleg said that the government and law enforcement system should act against Imams and illegal mosques, as they seem to have the courage to do against rabbis.
Hadari said that unless work is stopped immediately, there are measures the municipality could employ, including the confiscation of equipment such as tractors and trucks.
Hadari ruefully expressed hopes that the government will instruct the police to enforce the law against the illegal mosque as it does elsewhere in Jerusalem.
The High Court recently decided to seal the synagogue which was being built by a private donor during the period of the building freeze at the El Matan North Samaria community, ignoring another illegal mosque being built nearby.